The SEC rejected the proposal saying there was no provision to postpone the elections.
New Delhi: Maintaining his pitch on the issue of alleged EVM manipulation, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday demanded that the municipal polls be “postponed” by a month or two till arrangements are made to use VVPAT-equipped EVMs. Mr Kejriwal met the Delhi State Election Commissioner and alleged that the “redundant” pre-2006 electronic voting machines (EVMs) that were “junked” and can be “hacked even by a child” are going to be used in the April 23 municipal polls.
“He (SEC) said he will write to the Chief Election Commissioner. But there is one week left for the polls. So there’s no possibility of replacing the machines or bring VVPAT machines. So I told him to postpone it by 1-2 months by writing to the CEC,” Mr Kejriwal said.
The SEC rejected the proposal saying there was no provision to postpone the elections. Kejriwal insisted, under the DMC (Delhi Municipal Corporation) Act, the Centre has the power to extend the tenure of the civic bodies by one year. VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box, but the voter cannot take it home.
The voters see voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) slip for seven seconds, which would be an acknowledgement receipt for the party they voted for in the election. Mr Kejriwal, who has been raising the issue of alleged EVM manipulation since the Punjab poll verdict where the AAP finished a distant second, also demanded that the AAP be allowed to get the machines “technically verified by experts” during mock trials before the polls.
“Even children can hack these machines. In Rajasthan, they tampered machines in Dholpur. Since they are in a government there, they entered strongrooms and manipulated machines,” he alleged.
Earlier in the day, Mr Kejriwal put up a brave front and said that his party’s defeat in the Rajouri Garden bypoll would not affect its performance in the upcoming civic elections, even as he conceded that locals were unhappy over MLA Jarnail Singh leaving the seat to contest Punjab Assembly polls. He said, “Jarnail has done a lot for the Sikh community. But the people of Rajouri Garden didn’t like the fact that he left the seat. Even I was getting feedback that the people of the constituency were unhappy over him leaving in the middle of his term.”
Senior party leader Ashutosh defended the AAP chief and said that by fielding Mr Singh against the SAD patron, the AAP wanted to send a message that it wanted to”fight corruption and defeat the veteran in his own burrow.”